This entire project began from a vision God gave to Karen to start a simple Bible study in this small community for women who do not attend church. Supported by the Free Methodist’s pastor wife, Karen and a friend started a Bible Study. These two ladies along with a few others started a Bible Study. God has used these women in a miraculous way and the ministry has mushroomed.
Karen is an artist, so she rented a storefront on Main Street where she paints and displays and sells her art as well as a few other local artist’s works.
She calls it “Millcreek Studio”. Karen and her husband pay the rent, and their cell group from a church in Kingston where they worship pays for the upkeep.
This store has provided a drop-in place, which provides an environment to come and enjoy coffee, tea and cookies and build relationships with other people in their community using a common interest. They also diversified to include a lending library of Christian books, and a place to just explore their interest in painting and drawing with Karen’s expertise.
The one Bible Study that was started has now grown to 3 weekly Bible studies for women. Monday’s study is predominately for the “churched”, and Wednesday and Friday for the “community unchurched”
The other weekly events include a Tuesday night Kid’s art class that also has a Bible Study component. Thursday night there is also a men’s study group. To fill out ministry opportunities, there are regular craft nights, and a “Movie Night” at the FM church in Odessa. There is a special summer program called “Coffee and Cake by the Lake”
Through these activities there have been new friendships bloom and relationships built. As a result of these relationships a practical Serving Ministry has arisen to meet needs, such as transportation to doctor’s appointments, giving them their first ever birthday party, and taking a daughter’s graduation pictures for a single mom with no camera.
This ministry is all about serving and giving. It’s about doing what Jesus would do. It is all about doing practical Christianity.
September 2006 Intentions
- Begin a Prayer walk
- An evening study to accomodate working women
- Build more relationships
- A study to be held in Amherstview
The most exciting news is that there have been first time decisions to follow Christ as well as recommitments through this ministry.
The reason for the success is that Karen gives God all the credit for what is being accomplished. Her motto is that she gives all she can without any judging and with no strings attached. God has used Karen and her group in a mighty way to impact this community. It is the talk of the town.Odessa and Kingston!
Written by Donna Elford